Space has always been the ultimate dream of the human race. It’s been more than 60 years since the first outer space flight, and more than 50 years since the first human-piloted spaceflight took place. Ever since, the most brilliant minds have been developing new methods to reach and explore the Moon, the solar planets, and the space beyond our home, the Milky Way.
NASA stated, “[space exploration] was fuel to the fire of the American consciousness that brought on a revolution, not only in science and technology but also in our passion for exploration and discovery.” This brings the idea that space exploration has always gathered people to pursue one common dream by increasing and applying knowledge in science and technology. In doing so, humans have a higher chance to travel freely between stars in a short time.
The History of Space Tourism
Unsurprisingly, ordinary people are a few decades apart of traveling easily beyond Earth orbit, since space tourism has developed considerably in the last few years. Looking back at the first space tourist who traveled for an 8-day stay to Soyuz TM-32 to join the space mission in 2001, science has significantly improved the following years. However, the last time a tourist made it to space was in 2009. The stagnation worked as a catalyst for further research and development work that has gone on space tourism. Consequently, what was once seen as a highly-priced entertainment (the first space tourist, Dennis Tito, paid about $20 million for the trip), now it is believed to be much more affordable and less troublesome.
Although most of the information brought to us by space companies seems like an unbelievable goal and beautifully narrated imagination, the recent planned missions and programs are far from plain fantasy. For instance, in 2019, it is expected that several private space companies will undertake human transportation to space, most of them for the first time. Foreseeable, they will attempt taking people to the Moon - first, and to Mars afterward, as the stone satellite and the red planet have always been the ultimate targets.
NASA has been the leading organization that pursues space exploration, and Moon surface in particular. It is working now on its next mission to take humans on the Moon surface before 2024, and with a fast pace on technology and hardware necessary to accomplish it. NASA’s ambition is to gain valuable knowledge about the Moon surface and its aspects and to apply it to Mars’ exploration in the 2030s.
SpaceX, a private company, is pursuing the same goal as NASA for almost two decades. It’s been building and launching technologically advanced spacecraft and rockets ever since it was established. Its main goal is to bring people the possibility to live beyond Earth. Predictably, Mars is the nearest planet rumored (and yet to be confirmed) to be made the new home for humanity.
How to Get People on Mars?
Before we talk about making Mars our next territory to grow potatoes, let’s discuss the way people can be brought to it. The plan is to take people to Mars on a technologically advanced rocket. And the trip would take months to reach the surface. It sounds incredible, but since technology and science have never stopped advancing, there is a high probability that people could do such things in a matter of a decade or so.
Would You Buy a Ticket to Mars?
In the early months of 2019, Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, announced that a ticket to Mars could cost $500,000. Thinking about that almost two decades ago, space tourists had to pay 40 times more for tickets to outer space, the price for a trip to Mars is pretty low. Not to say that the price includes the stay in case you get decided to move permanently to the fourth planet of the Solar System.
Although the price in the past and the one stated by Elon Musk differ, and the last one is certainly intriguing, it is still a large sum after all. And before selling the house and pursuing this head swirling dream, it would be wiser to make some calculations on our own. To ease the task, we’ll do the entire job for you.
Let’s imagine that flying to Mars was the same as taking a flight in economy class seats from Los Angeles to London. The distance between these two points on the map is 8,758.97 km. That’s a large number, but wait for it; the distance from the Earth to Mars is about 54.4 million km (at its minimum). The average price for one-way flights from LA to London, purchased from an OTA like Ovago, is from $200 (calculated for the next year). If we made the mathematics, then the price for a flight from our home to the next planet from us would be nearly $1.25 million.
Considering that a space rocket could transport one hundred people on its board, the price would be around $12,500 for a passenger. But let's not forget that we talk about space travel, and not about an ordinary air flight. Commercial space flights have always been expensive for several reasons. Those who arrange these flights have had to provide the highest level of security for space tourists and pilots, and they would have to provide just the same thing for flights to Mars. Security is the main concern of any scientist, space architect, or engineer. And it is wise to invest in it to guarantee the protection against any unforeseen events that may happen during a long space flight.
Though reaching new heights in space exploration has been the ultimate goal of humanity throughout our history, and star have always been our passion, we are closer to it than we have never been before. Hopefully, we, or at least the next generation, will step forward and conquer the space.
By the way, while you are waiting for the day when you board a SpaceX spaceship, you can send at least your name to Mars. This is an incredible opportunity, don't miss it!
Last Updated on January 9, 2020.